TechSI: Technology for Social Innovation
Describe the problem that you want to address. How does this problem effect people in their daily lives?

Cyprus and its people face a variety of social challenges, some of which are unique to specific locations or communities, and others are common across the island. Today, there is little information on the social priorities across Cyprus and its local communities, and specifically for addressing them with effective and innovative solutions. At the same time, local expertise and entrepreneurial innovation remains unexplored, and the level of successful social enterprises in Cyprus remains minimal.

 

Describe your proposed solution – How does your approach build on or add to more traditional ways of dealing with problem?

TechSI will enable its users to identify social challenges across Cyprus, both of locally and island-wide, and access resources and expertise on social entrepreneurship. Users in Cyprus can add location-based social challenges, specific to their neighbourhood or city, and in addition, aspiring entrepreneurs can use the available resources and consulting to develop business ideas and start-ups to generate social impact. TechSI will enable location-based matching between social enterprises and social challenges, and identify recurring challenges across multiple locations. Social challenges, such as environmental and employment challenges will be available as a drop down menu based on the EU2020 priorities of employment, innovation, education, poverty reduction and climate/energy. The platform will provide an educational framework for its users through the provision of experts, resources and webinars on entrepreneurship and social development.

Which technologies are you planning to use and why? Please make reference to other similar uses of your proposed technology.

The TechSI platform will be built on a Cloud Computing infrastructure. It will provide a common virtual space accessible to all through their network-connected device, focusing on the use of mobile devices. A Cloud Computing infrastructure offers a flexible, scalable and cost-effective computational model where complicated infrastructure setups are abstracted from the user, making the service more user-friendly.  The Cloud provides large amounts of storage space and delivers demanding tasks in a fast and affordable way.  The product will utilise gamification techniques and geographical context to create a novel approach towards knowledge sharing and learning, where citizens can take on the roles of both information contributors and information receivers. The platform can be fully utilized once mobile devices connect to the Internet via WiFi, 3G or 4G and the location of the user is captured. Security considerations will ensure product reliability and integrity.